Fish Poachers Busted in Wareham, Massachusetts

It seems that law-breakers can’t help themselves when black sea bass show up in Buzzards Bay.  Last year, the Environmental Police nabbed a poacher in Mattapoisett with 153 out of season sea bass on May 18; another in Wareham on May 29 with 219 sea bass, and then a third bust on June 2 when poachers landed 143 sea bass in Bourne.

As reported on the Wareham Harbormaster Facebook page, at approximately 3pm on May 21, 2017, officers from the Wareham Harbormaster Department were conducting safety inspections of vessels at Tempest Knob Boat Ramp. While performing inspections officers observed a large quantity of coolers located onboard the decks of two center console vessels tied to the dock. The Massachusetts Environmental Police were contacted and immediately responded to the scene.

Once Environmental Police were on scene the vessels were removed from the water but not before the captain of the second vessel was observed attempting to discreetly dispose of fish in the coolers by dumping the fish overboard. Officers were able to stop the individual from disposing of additional fish and stood by with the vessel until it was safely removed from the water. Officers from the Harbormaster Department were able to recover a majority of the fish that were dumped overboard.

Upon completion of the inspection it was determined that the vessels were in possession of hundreds of pounds of various fish illegally taken that included black sea bass, scup, tautog, blue fish, striped bass and sea robins, which were seized.

Various charges including no recreational fishing licenses, exceeding catch limits, undersize catch and illegally disposing of fish were brought against the numerous individuals as well as one arrest and one vehicle, trailer and boat towed from the scene.

Due to the questionable storing of the fish without ice and the unknown amount of time that the fish had been stored it was determined for public health reasons the fish could not be released for human consumption.

Through a cooperative effort of both agencies the fish were able to be turned over to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay. The fish will be used to help feed the numerous animals that are in their rehabilitation facility! While this was an irresponsible waste of fish they will go to good use.

The incident remains under investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

72 on “Fish Poachers Busted in Wareham, Massachusetts

  1. Steve Merrill

    Names and faces so we know the poachers that walk among us.Hopefully they lost their boats vehicles and any other possession.Scum.

    1. Kenney

      i would LOVE to see the slimeballs who did that-f****ng dirt merchants-i hope they r reading this too i got something 4 u wen i see u

    2. Rome Perez

      Not a nother slap on the hand. Make it hurt, enough bragging about all these illegal fisherman getting caught not getting punished like they should be , the real crime is the criminal system not doing their job, is a means of having jobs and not doing the job this is just another cod father fiasco he’ll be back in business with a different face on his business

    3. I agree poachers pictures should be posted so we know who these scumbags are also they should lose there rights to fish forever what a waste

      Poachers pictures should be posted so we can identify these scumbags also pics of there boats and they should lose there rights to fish forever what a waste of our natural resorce this is the lowest kind of scum

      1. FRANKENFISH

        Poachers pictures should be posted so we can identify these scumbags also pics of there boats and they should lose there rights to fish forever what a waste of our natural resorce this is the lowest kind of scum. More legal fisherman need to watch for illegal activity and report it immediately because there just isn’t enough EPO to cover all the water we need to band together like neighborhood watch oceanhood watch

  2. Robert

    You all should know the saying ” Pictures or it didn’t happen ” Post their faces and charges just like any other criminal!!

    1. Larry

      Mugs shots are for those arrested and booked for felonies. A summons doesn’t get you a mug shot. You’ll have to go to the court clerk, find out the trial date, and go if you are that curious.

  3. Brian P

    The only problem in the world are the humans.

    Take their cars, boats and gear maybe it will deter others, MAAYYBBEE

  4. Jeff G

    Penalties cannot be severe enough for this kind of poaching. Seize ALL of their assets as they would a drug dealer’s. There should be mandatory jail time as well.

  5. Neil Sullivan

    Pls consider updating us on the end result of last year’s incidents. Were boats seized, how much were the fines etc. We need to collectively insure that the repercussions are substantial enough to force compliance.

  6. Bob

    Check for citizenship! Hopefully, the folks at ICE can give these perps a ride back to the country from whence they came.

    1. Nelson Shifflett

      This is a story about enforcement of fishing regulations. Kudos to law enforcement and others whose comments reflect support for their work. Sad that racists use the platform to espouse vitriolic nonsense and hatred. Sorry for the big words.

    2. Dave Whitestone

      Thanks for your racist input Bob. You have zero information that would lead you to believe anyone not in the country illegally was responsible for this poaching, but that is your first thought. We do need to do some deportations, but I’d suggest the names should start with Bob.

  7. Walleye

    With what we pay every season in Massachusetts as far as taxes, registrations, mooring fees. boat insurance, trailer registration, licensing and other taxes, its nice to see the EPD is doing a great job! I have an idea, lets offer a reward for anyone catching these destroyers of our fisheries! Tight lines.

    1. Larry

      It would be a stretch to say that exceeding a catch limit or out of season catch by a rec fisherman is destroying fisheries. That’s done by “professionals” in New Bedford like Carlos Rafael and similar captains.

  8. Vince

    I didn’t know bluefish and sea robins were illegal. The charges seem to have been overinflated IMO (hundreds of pounds). Although these guys will probably get under $1000 in fines; I’m glad that the fish will go to help rehabilitate aquatics animals in need.

    1. Colin

      Looks like hundreds of pounds to me. Don’t know what’s wrong with your eyes. Take their car! Take their boat! Hoorah!

      1. Vince

        I’m speaking of “illegal” fish. Maybe you need to take a course in reading comprehension.

      2. Roman

        Maybe you should take a writing class. Anything more than 1 striper is illegal. Anything more than 5 black sea bass is illegal. Anything more than 10 bluefish is illegal. Anything more than 4 fluke is illegal. Anything more than 30 scup is illegal. If you look at the fish in just that one truck, I don’t think they are overinflating anything. I think you should follow Colin’s advice and have your eyes checked. By the way Vision Works has buy one get one at half price.

    2. Chris

      If they had no licenses, all of the fish were illegal. Plus there is a limit on bluefish. 10 per. Dunno about sea ronins

      1. Garry

        It’s illegal if you don’t have your license like the story says…

    3. Garry

      They’re illegal if you don’t have the proper license like the story says…

    4. Bill

      All fish caught are illegal if you don’t have a fishing license.

      1. Vince

        I don’t think possessing bluefish, sea robin, etc. without a recreational license is illegal.

      2. Crystal

        Is driving a car without your license illegal….its the sane thing!

      3. Roman

        Maybe you should take a writing class. Anything more than 1 striper is illegal. Anything more than 5 black sea bass is illegal. Anything more than 10 bluefish is illegal. Anything more than 4 fluke is illegal. Anything more than 30 scup is illegal. If you look at the fish in just that one truck, I don’t think they are overinflating anything. I think you should follow Colin’s advice and have your eyes checked. By the way Vision Works has buy one get one at half price. Are you for real, possessing fish without a license is illegal. Are you just stupid?

      4. Larry

        Don’t get carried away with the personal attacks. He’s just making a comment. If you want to add to the discussion, write a post. If you feel like making inane comments, then don’t do them where everyone else can read them.

      5. Gomes

        Ya i think you allowed a certain percentage under that last time I read the law. I don’t know where you numbers are coming from Roman. Quit acting like you know how much fish is a certain percentage over just judging by an overinflated picture.

      6. Todd

        Just the act of fishing without a license is illegal, whether you catch fish or not!
        That is why the license/permit is dated and time stamped, so you can’t go buy one to show after you’ve been caught.

  9. Scott

    Great job by the Environmental Police Dept. I agree that their pictures should be posted so we can all make sure we don’t see them back out there fishing again.. Seize and sell all their assets that were involved in order to pay for further enforcement and don’t forget a lifetime ban on their fishing licenses. It’s such as shame that people have no respect for the rules of our collective fishery and this is why the fish populations aren’t as plentiful as they were in years gone by, for idiots like these.

    1. Larry

      Good premise but bad assumption. Recreational fisherman have no impact on fisheries – it takes the big guys out of New Bedford, Glocester, Boston, Japan, Russia, etc to clean out a species efficiently, and they’re very good at it.

  10. Paul Hilliker

    We were boarded yesterday first boat to get a perfect 100 they said

  11. rick

    First but them in a black wet suit , now rub them in the fish them caught. Now go to chatham beaches where the seal are, drop them in the water 1/2 mile from shore and them swim to the beach / maybe a great white is hungry

  12. Dennis Wild

    Illegal bluefish? Ten fish per angler per day bag limit. Don’t know rods vs. nets. Sea robins, who knows?

  13. Wayno

    Reading these articles makes me sick to my stomach. People like this ruin the sport for everyone. SCUM of the earth do what those poachers did.

  14. Paul

    When is the auction for the vehicle , fishing gear and boat ?? Sell the. All. That’s a good deterrent..

  15. SCOTT MCCONE

    I just don’t get it. Maybe the penalties need to be harsher. I for one am sick of seeing this every year and it always seems to be at Tempest knob. Either they’re getting away with it every where else or the boys in Wareham are really on top of their game. With the amount of sea bass out there, I would like to see it go back up to 8 fish but for now I’ll just take my five and like it.

  16. Bobm

    This activity makes me sick, prosecute the offenders to the limit of the law, recreational and commercial fisherman be vigilante and aware, if we don’t make an attempt to protect our environment, it won’t be here for our children, and that is the biggest loss of all

  17. Shayam sooklal

    How greedy can some people be?they should be banned from the water for life

  18. Garry

    Read the story, the fish were taken illegally because of the offenses. So yes the bluefish and sea robins were taken illegally even if anything is in season…..

  19. chris

    By the way, that’s your dreaded “big government” stopping poachers – who else is going to do that? Budget released today, EPA, NOAA and others are on the slate

  20. gator

    these guys are real POS…. they should loose everything from boats to cars get fined and deported if available they ruin the sport for the rest of us nice work buy the EPO keep up the great work

  21. Not surprised

    These guys will not get even close to what they deserve. I think when it’s this bad they should serve 5-10. It’s the only way it’s gonna set an example to the rest. Last year it happened 3 times. Twice at the same ramp and again this year. Really? The penalties are not working.. Lock the the F up already……………

  22. Sneaky Pete

    After they go and catch all these fish they go to the local Chinese restaurants and sell them there… seen it happen on 2 occasions last summer… after the second time I’ve never gone back to the restaurant

    1. monstahfish

      Did you report it to the EPO? If we don’t report these things, we have to count on lucky timing for the EPOs and law enforcement to catch them.

  23. Steel lips

    Saw epo bust non english speaking persons yesterday on plum island. I say non english since 1 guy yeled at them and they said. No english.. espanol..

    1. Larry

      Carlos Rafael speaks english very well and has still managed to decimate the fisheries off New England.

  24. Bgfish

    That’s a great job by epo s most fisherman think they just hassell us but without them this crap would continue Thank you

  25. Wes Thames

    An absolute fishing sin. With all the problems our saltwater fish have on their own, we have these a***s illegally taking fish. Big fines, loss of ability to fish again is warranted.

  26. Mike trout spelled German traudt

    Follow the court dockets for wareham and the county…..

    When you see poaching counts time 100—-
    We will have names and faces after one Facebook search…..
    This is beyond anyone’s desperation- it is reckless and selfish and ignorant.

  27. Joe

    We don’t just want to know, we NEED to know the names of these criminals! Release the names! Now! They must also receive the harshest penalties the law will allow! Release their names!

  28. Joe

    This is no joke! This crime is as bad as pre-meditated murder of a human! Throw the book at them!!!

  29. Gilly

    My guess is that those fish were going to get sold to some back door mom&pop fish~market,…these guys must be either very uneducated or simply ignorant. People like this have been getting away with this type of behavior far longer than we’d like to believe. As stated above, their pictures AND boat name should be published in the news as well as online. It should also be posted in all the local bait shops, local to their residential addresses as well (possibly where they buy their bait). Shame can be a very powerful tool…..more heftier than a $250 fine (IMO). If they’re shamed enough, along with the fine….it may help (even if only a little) in deterring a few of their friends who are ready to pick up their “selling” route. Crooks know crooks, Politicians know politicians, and poachers know poachers.
    Great team work from both enforcement agencies!

  30. Rick

    I spoke with a DEP guy and he was honest with me because I’m in law enforcemnt. All these guys need to do is lawyer up and basically nothing will happen. I’ve had some negative experiences with DEP guys, not sure if they are just defeated or what. I had a life guard beat a seagull to death in front of my 12 year old daughter and her best friend on the Vineyard. I came unglued on the life guard and during the process of trying to get law enforcment to do anything they made me feel like I was the jerk. Glad I’m retired from full time police work because the work ethic and how these new cops are just sucks. I know it’s a hard job but if you aint in it because you feel it’s your calling then go bag groceries.

  31. Sam

    This is not s race issue. Im of asian descent and I hate these poachers just as much as the next. Ruins it for all of us! Punish them to the full extent. No excuses for those the blatantly disregard the rules.

  32. Jim Dodrill

    Again I’m not from the east coast. Out west we have rewards for turning in poachers. It works.
    Jim

  33. Brian J

    First things first great job EPA thank you guys and girls for sharing the news ?So I also believe that public shaming would do wonders in the fight against poachers . . . ARGUE THAT! Plus beside their multiple pictures of faces boats trucks and fish victims in the local paper will be the list of charges and fines beside them think about the children my children and your neighbors children think about how it was and how it’s become Stop the hate as well life is to short to hate anyone take it out on the legal fish Keep it tight!

  34. Brian J

    I also believe that public shaming would do wonders in the fight against poachers . . . ARGUE THAT! Plus beside their multiple pictures of faces boats trucks and fish victims in the local paper will be the list of charges and fines beside them think about the children my children and your neighbors children think about how it was and how it’s become Stop the hate as well life is to short to hate anyone take it out on the legal fish Keep it tight!

    1. patrick

      All the commercial guys are almost out of business theres more fish than ever and we are all over regulated we have sea life that has not been around since the 1900s wake up America 90 percent of our seafood is imported there are more people in the NMFS than actual commercial fisherman. you can walk on the fish from her to Galway bay. I love the news report on whales one senate states their has been 35 whale standing this year and commercial fishing has been banned do to limited supply of fish! than they say in the same sentence as a result of the over abundance of sealife thats why we have had so many whale stranded. people wake up this is another way to punish people for their god given right to fish everything in moderation! live it and be about it.
      P.C

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.